In January 2019, SSA reintroduced a new stage in the disability process: the reconsideration. This means if a person is denied social security disability benefits at the initial (first) stage, they are forced to go through a reconsideration, instead of directly to the hearing level (ALJ level). The reintroduction of reconsideration was done even in light of massive vocal outcry and push back from the SSA workers, judges, attorneys and claimants. Most cases are denied yet again at the reconsideration stage (more than 90%).
How long does it take for SSA to make a decision on the reconsideration?
Reconsideration is taking about 2.5 months, and increasing, from the time a person files a reconsideration and the reconsideration decision. I anticipate the time delay will increase.
What happens during reconsideration?
DDS (the organization who denied the initial application) will pass your case file to another examiner who will re-review all medical evidence and make an independent decision. DDS will obtain any/all outstanding medical records that will aid in making a determination. Thus, it is important to let your attorney know of new medical treatment so they can update your case file. Specifically, new test results are usually important.